Many patients inquire about the size and shape of their nostrils during a consultation for nose reshaping (rhinoplasty). This is a common concern in non-Caucasion or ethnic rhinoplasty, but may be a part of any nose reshaping surgery plan. Changes to the nostrils can help to improve symmetry in the tip region and overall balance and harmony of the parts of the nose and the face as a whole. Physical examination of the nose is required to determine the role of alar base modification in your surgery.
In some cases, nostril reduction may be indicated as a stand-alone procedure. If so, this can be performed in the office with local anesthesia. The procedure takes about 30 to 45 minutes, and the recovery is generally very fast. Sutures are used to align the nostril tissues and are left in place for about a week. Minimal bruising and swelling is expected, and after-care is simple.
In other cases, the desired changes to the nostrils require modification of the nasal tip cartilages in addition to the nostril rim tissues. For these patients, a tip rhinoplasty or complete rhinoplasty, including functional and cosmetic techniques, is needed. Alar base modification is an important part of a comprehensive nose reshaping, and in many patients, is the icing on the cake of a beautiful result.
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